Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Forage and Harvest Book


The end of 2016 brought some happy negotiations with a publishing company I have long admired. When a senior editor there asked me over the phone, Vermont to Cape Town, "Why Chelsea Green?" my answer was simple: "Integrity."

Because it matters more than ever. 

Chelsea Green has a reputation for producing books on subjects ahead of the curve, and are firmly on the appropriate side of important environmental and political issues.

Back home in Brooklyn recently, a contract arrived. I celebrated by sprinkling it with agathosma* salt and dried mugwort. For luck, of course. 

* Agathosma from my mom's Cape Town garden - very aromatic.


Forage and Harvest is a book for cooks, gardeners, and foragers. It represents years of research: foraging, reading, cooking, eating. And gardening. It will cover over 40 wild foods and contain over 400 recipes. There will be techniques for making simple essentials and kitchen basics like field garlic oil (above).


Wild salad recipes will contain feral and domestic ingredients. In some cases I will make horticultural arguments (with cultivation tips) for taming wild ingredients: they are excellent vegetables and fruits, and sometimes borderline in terms of sustainability. And not everyone can get out and forage. We should be growing them, both for our own consumption, and for market.


There will be many one-pot wonders, it's how I often cook at home, like this pokeweed ribolitta, above. There will also be soups and side dishes and stews, risottos and roasts, and lots of ideas for breakfast. I like breakfast.


Breads and syrups and jams and muffins will march through the pages, like this spicebush bread with black cherry syrup.


There will be cake. With foraged mahlab, from black cherries.


There will be meaty and hearty main courses, like these bayberry meatballs with sumac.


There will be fire.


And there will be esoteric and fragrant vinegars and ferments made with highly seasonal edible flowers, like black locust.


...and the ever popular and wildly fizzy elderflower cordial.

With just a few weeks before spring arrives, I am furiously transcribing recipes from a small mountain of Moleskine notebooks so that I can be ready to gather, photograph and test when foraging season begins. Friends have offered help from their own tracts of wild land, while many of my edible weeds will be sourced locally from community farms and forgotten wild places.

Forage and Harvest will be published in spring of 2018.

____________________



27 comments:

  1. Oh Marie,
    How wonderful! Mes felicitations plus sincere!
    Good for you & I admire your dedication in choosing a publisher with integrity. Such a rare find these days.
    Just please don't stop blogging. We need you.

    Best from the West,

    Diane in Denver

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  2. Congratulations! I'm sure it will be another inspiring and beautiful book.

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  3. Excellent! Where do I sign up for my advance copy!!

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    1. Ha, thank you! I promise to let you know ;-)

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    2. This is very exciting news, Marie! With any luck, Judith and I will be exploring our copies of your new book together, as she now lives in my city. Best wishes, as always, Leslie

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  4. Looks to be unique and wonderful. Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Diane. I hope so, on both counts!

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  5. So happy to hear this is coming out! It will be lovely, I just know it :-)

    Cecile in Peoria, IL

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  6. How wonderful, Marie! I look forward to this new book.
    Joan

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  7. So exciting! I can't wait to get a copy (and one for the public library at which I work and for which I order, appropriately, gardening books and cookbooks...) I have loved your blog for many years, and so appreciate your fearless voice, compassionate soul, and unfettered love of nature. Thank you for everything you do!
    Claire

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  8. When can we pre-order? So very proud of you. Know it will be wonderful.

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    1. Ha - pre ordering. Good question. I'm guessing late fall. But I will let you know, I promise! Thank you, Win...

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  9. I cannot wait! Hopefully there will again be a Cape Town launch. And hopefully I can arrange a business trip to coincide. It's also very exciting to see mention of cultivation for Gauteng-based me (everything in SA seems to be Western Cape focused).
    Korien

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    1. Thank you, Korien. Interesting observation...I would have thought the Gauteng market is huge and important... The International Edible weeds can definitely be kweeked in SA :-) As for N. American natives, I bet sumac would be very happy in Gauteng. Cold winter, summer rainfall. I wonder how potentially invasive it could be.

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  10. Looking forward to your new book! I enjoy(ed) 66 square feet as book very much and handed it as gifts left and right. As a fellow small-space gardener, cook and mushroom and berry picker, I am amazed what you still can forage and grow in NYC, where I also live. Your book and blog have inspired me to try and grow many new things. Thank you!

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  11. Congratulations! Will immediately check out Chelsea Green catalog. Will you include ethical sources & handling for weedy seeds and/or harvesting techniques for same? Kay L

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    1. Thank you, Kay. Harvesting tips, definitely, also cultivation, where applicable. I am thinking about how to handle a resource section. The beauty of Internet searches means that we can find so much, so quickly that way, but I would like to find more native plants nurseries (obviously not for the edible weeds!)...

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  12. Congrats on the undertaking of your new book, "Forage and Harvest". It sounds like the reader can expect pages and pages of culinary adventure. I'm looking forward to it.

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  13. Congratulations on the book and publisher. It's sure to be a success.

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